My Morning Jacket completed a three night run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, adding to this prestigious hall’s growing reputation of being the place to play and be part of a show. Every night Jim James and company provided a packed house with a varied, different set, comprised of original material, covers, and requests sent in to the band electronically. There are so few bands of this calibre to begin with, and My Morning Jacket has its slot at the pinnacle along with bands such as Phish, Umphrey’s Mcgee, and MOE.
Deer Tick opened the first evening blasting their way through with a vengeance, rocking the roof with Twenty Miles and Easy, opening new dimensions of cosmic musical tremors.
An Afro-beat band opened, Antibalas. Out of Brooklyn, the ensemble shook The Capitol to open the second show. These gentlemen have been the ‘house band’ for the international hit musical, “Fela”. Not to be missed, Antibalas is a full band (10 players) and are fantastically versatile, pumping out soul based Afro funk, mixed with a tinge of jazz/blues tossed in for good measure.
My Morning Jacket continues to astound with their level of showmanship and musicianship, while it absorbs and transports its fervent followers. The breadth of songs ran across all borders. Superb craftsmanship enables James and crew to draw from an impeccable palette of hard rocking (I’m Amazed,) to the haunting (Librarian). The latter possessed melodic lines that create an atmosphere of intimacy and dense emotion. Pedal steel floats throughout giving the song an original ethereal essence. This is what separates My Morning Jacket from the rest of the pack. James’s voice is powerful and soars, never grating, always gratifying.
Scorching renditions of Hearbreakin Man, Outta My System, and Mahgeetah had James maniacally on fire. He stalked, strutted, prowled, and howled across the stage. Perfectly timed lights accompanied his relentless histrionics, wearing an oversized luminescent cerulean jacket as a cape. For Highly Suspicious he placed a towel on his head so as to appear as a cowl. Interesting. As for taking the rudimentary, the band tore into Elton John’s Rocket Man, hitting all high harmonies, doing them justice. Thereafter they covered The Band’s It Makes No Difference. Effusing with emotion and a strong sense of purpose, a no holds barred version meant a sax solo interlaced with James’ guitar lines following Garth Hudson’s original melodic runs.
When it comes to their own music, My Morning Jacket had the pleasure and privilege of having Antibalas’s horn section for a few numbers, giving a lift and kick that had the place rocking. Jordan McLean, their trumpeter, is an acclaimed musician, a towering presence (6’6″) that virtually swings.
The Capitol Theatre has upcoming shows featuring Leon Russell/Little Feat, Trey Anastasio, and Pat Benatar. This beautiful theatre dating back to 1926 will steal your heart once you attend a show.